‘Radical economic transformation unstoppable’
The ANC is now beginning to tap into the economy and those who’ve been benefiting all these years are now vexed, says Minister Zwane
Mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane has vowed the ruling ANC will go ahead with its radical economic transformation programme despite protestations by its detractors to derail government’s spirited efforts.
Zwane also called on ANC supporters to guard against people who want to destroy the party and the credibility of its leaders, in particular President Jacob Zuma.
Addressing a cadres’ assembly in Sasolburg last Friday, Zwane who is also the ANC Free State treasurer, condemned the attack on Zuma, saying it was not only directed at him alone but the entire leadership of the party.
“The ANC and its leadership are under attack,” said Zwane, adding: “It’s the responsibility of true ANC members to defend not only its leaders, but also the party as a whole.”
The minister pointed at the recent anti-Zuma marches which took place across the country, accusing the demonstrators of being misled by people who are obsessed with their own agendas and are in process of misleading the entire country.
He urged thousands of supporters who gathered at the Multipurpose Centre in Zamdela not to be misled by ill-disciplined people whose sole purpose is to see the ANC fail in its objective to achieve radical economic transformation.
“The ANC is now beginning to tap into the economy and those who’ve been benefiting all these years are vexed,” said the minister to a thunderous applause.
“We’ve never said we’ll wake up one day and take back the land. We are saying let’s sit down and talk, it’s time for black people to also own the land. Remember when the land was taken, we were not consulted,” he continued.
Zwane further emphasized that the call by President Zuma for radical economic transformation and land expropriation was aimed at addressing mistakes of the past and was not a witch-hunt.
The minister was part of a delegation that included national executive committee member of the ANC Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and minister of science and technology Naledi Pandor. Police Minister Fikile Mbalula who was schedule to be keynote speaker was not in attendance.
“Calls by opposition parties who are serving the interests of those running the economy that the president is corrupt are aimed at discrediting the credibility of the country’s leader,” Zwane said.
“These negative narratives around the president might result in people failing to hear his message about economic transformation and lead them to focus on what the liars and wedge drivers have been saying, which is their object,” he continued.
He added that black South Africans business owners remained poor as compared to their white counterparts, referring to the list of richest people in the country, which is dominated by the latter.
The minister read out the list of South Africa’s 10 richest people which is as follows: Christo Wiese – R81.2bn (Brait SE); Ivan Glasenberg – R60bn (Glencore); Stephen Saad – R16bn (Aspen Pharmacare); John Whittaker – R15.9bn (Intu Properties); Laurie Dippenaar – R12.9bn (First Rand); Bruno Steinhoff – R12.6bn (Steinhoff); Atul Gupta – R10.7bn (Oakbay); Johann Rupert – R10.6bn (Remgro); Jannie Mouton – R9.8bn (PSG Group) and Koos Bekker – R9.6bn (Naspers).
“The minority continues to run the economy and therefore it has become imperative for the ANC to ensure that radical economic transformation becomes a reality for the benefit our people,” he noted.
Zwane denied claims by the opposition that the famous Gupta family was holding the government to ransom and influencing some of its major decisions, saying: “These people (Guptas) who they claim have captured the state do not even appear in the top 16 list of the wealthiest South Africans.”
Meanwhile, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday told the Black Business Council dinner in Sandton that the transformation of the country’s economy was non-negotiable.
“I would say to those who are dismissing this term, sit down, listen, smell the coffee… realise that the transformation of our economy is non-negotiable,” said Ramaphosa.
He said the government had hoped to create more sustainable growth, higher investment, increased employment, reduced inequality and to deradicalise the economy.
It has to happen and it is going to happen whether people like it or not, it has to and it needs to, Ramaphosa was quoted as saying.
The deputy president said radical economic transformation was essentially about building an inclusive and more collective economy in the country.